Christians only. Not the only Christians!
Motto of the Restoration Movement????
The Restoration Movement was a movement of unity. It has changed so much over the years. Churches are splitting not over matters of essential doctrinal issues but over opinions and lack of what they think should be "uniformity". Jesus tells about a kingdom divided within itself will not stand." The same goes for any church that is divided within itself cannot stand! In order for us to strive and thrive in the 21st century we must be united within first. We cannot share commonality with other believers if we are fussing, fighting and destroying each other. Jesus prayed for us to be ONE. One with all believers. One in faith, one in love and one in hope. These I believe are the key essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest of these essential doctrines is love! Without love everything we do means nothing!
Listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-ff, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains
, but do not have love, I am nothing! And if I give all my possessions to the poor, and if I deliver my to be burned, but do not have love, it profits nothing! Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, and does not act unbecomingly
, it odes not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.' Vs. 13, "But now abide: faith, hope and love, these
three; but the greatest of these is love." NASV
Do we focus on the petty non-essentials of faith? Our differences? Get mad and hate because things don't go our way or do we set our differences aside for the sake of love? If we have not love everything we do means nothing. The way we sing, the way we do worship every Sunday
, the ideas and opinions on what we think is dogma or doctrine means nothing! Is pointless and meaningless if we have not love.
Can we set aside our difference and find unity with all believers within the Restoration Movement? Can we find and celebrate our similarity on the key, essential doctrines of all Christian faiths:
1.Faith in Christ
2.Hope that He Promises Everyone
The greatest of these love!
Ministers, elders, deacons, all believers the time is now to start striving and focusing on unity! It is time to start preaching
it from our pulpits, teaching it in our classes, practicing it in small groups, living and striving for it in all aspects of our life and faith. May we be know as a people who loves and accepts all believers. May we be known for our authenticity of grace through Christ Jesus. God help us not to confuse "uniformity" with "unity"! May we be Christians Only. Not the only Christians!
What will it take for the Restoration Movement to be a movement of unity once again? Can those within the Restoration Movement set aside differences for the sake of unity within its own fellowship? Can we set aside our difference for the sake of unity with all believers of the Christian faith? What do you think about the they key essential doctrines that I list? Have you thought of them as doctrines before? Have we focused and practiced them the way we should or have we focused on more non-essentials? Is it time to stop focusing on what is essential and what is not for the sake of these three essential doctrines and unity? Is your church striving for unity with other believers within the Restoration Movement or believers of all Christian ? Does your church accept all believers? What does it say when a group is exclusive
or isn't willing to fellowship with others? How can your church be known for its unity? How far are you willing to go for the sake of unity? How can you personally make a difference?
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.